Sunday, 22 May 2011

When The Truth is Better Left Unsaid


Many of you would have heard of Dr Laura Schlessinger, the author and radio host who has penned many books about family and children and runs a talk back radio programme giving advice to many about family, marriage, sex, relationships, children and many other social issues. Just recently one of her Blog entries caught my eye. 

Why is it that human beings are so obsessed with being honest and feel that people need to know the truth at all costs? Possibly years and years of scolding for lying. Or the endless lecture about trust and honesty. I remember how angry my Mum was if we lied about something. However years later when I was pregnant with my daughter and my dear mother was dying of cancer, I chose to keep the truth of my condition from her. Let's face it, she would have been upset, Mum knew she was almost out of time, she was upset already that her life had been cut so short and she would not see her kids get married or meet her grandchildren. So I chose to keep that information to myself and to this day I know I did the right thing. Those who knew kept my secret too, and no-one has ever criticised my decision to keep my pregnancy a secret.

Laura used the example of a father who steps into a family and takes on the duties of fatherhood even though the child is not of his sperm. The real father is long gone and unaware he has a child at all. Do we tell this child or do we keep it a secret. How likely is it that he or she will discover the truth. Not likely; unless someone tells the child. Sometimes more drama is created than is necessary and some humans buy into the rubbish that something will happen to bring the truth out into the open, just like it does on many TV soap operas. Looking at the situation from the point of the child, the child is the only one who will get hurt in this scenario and possibly for no good reason except their supposed right to honesty at all times. Is he or she going to thank you for putting their life in confusion and turmoil with this information? He or she will be extremely upset that their real Dad could not be bothered to stick around.

As for medical history, we have so much advanced technology in medicine these days that we can find out almost anything without a medical history. There really is no reason that this child cannot grow up never knowing about their sperm donor father. It's the man who stays and takes on the role of Dad who deserves the role of father, not the man who donated his sperm. Obviously there are instances where the truth must be told, and if these instances arise, the child should be told the truth.

What about a cheating spouse? Should the injured party be told? Not necessarily, especially if the person cheating is willing to fix what is wrong in the relationship and move forward. It is not necessary to hurt someone in this way, just for sake of honesty. When it comes to marriage and families, we need to be preserving the family at all costs and making decisions based on what is best for the family unit. Children do not need to be torn from their families for what might have been one mistake or error in judgement. People really do have to remember when to shut up.

Obviously if a spouse is a chronic adulterer, then it is probably best to end the marriage, however if a couple can rebuild their marriage even after adultery has occurred, then they should try and not just walk away. Again this would depend on the circumstances; for example: if the couple are contemplating marriage and there is information that one partner is cheating, then it may well be best to be honest, providing all the facts are there to back up this accusation. If it is only based on gossip and not facts, then it would be best to keep it to yourself.

It can feel impossible not to be truthful with someone about something which is going to hurt them, however sometimes there are times when the truth only serves to hurt others and is in no-ones best interests at all, except possibly to relieve someones guilt. Feeling guilty is not a good enough reason to hurt another person. The guilty party needs to feel the remorse that goes with feeling guilty and move past it. This is normal. Guilt is what some call the wasted emotion, absolutely of no benefit to anyone, except to tell us humans that we have done wrong, and once we are aware of our wrongdoing, then we need to move onwards and upwards and let go of the guilt.

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Link to article on Bubblews: When The Truth Is Better Left Unsaid

To read more of Janelle Coulton's articles, Please visit at: JanelleCoulton@Suite101 or you can read other blogs at: Janelle's Blogs

Copyright © 2012 Janelle Coulton

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